Why are mayor & City Council trying to limit access to the ballot?

To The Daily Sun,

The mayor and City Council's response to the mistake made in the Sept. 10, 2013, Laconia Primary Election results for Laconia Ward 5 City Council seat is to take away the voters of Laconia's constitutional rights by limiting a write-in candidate's access to having their name placed on the ballot.

In September 2013, Laconia City Manager Scott Myers asked Laconia City Clerk Mary Reynolds, "to gather information relative to municipal primary elections that are held in September of each odd numbered year." (City Council Meeting 2/24/2014.) At the May 12, 2014, City Council Meeting, by request of Mayor Ed Engler, "there has been a provision added to require a minimum of 35 votes by a write-in candidate to be declared a primary or election winner." Councilor Bownes correctly asked, "if there is a population correlation to the number of write-in votes you would need to receive." City Clerk Reynolds correctly replied that, "this is the number for state election" but then incorrectly said, "there is no correlation to the population." The 35 write-in votes has to do with RSA 659 - Election Procedure Canvass and Declaration: STATE Primary Election 659:88 Write-in Votes and Nomination. I. (a) "A person whose name was not printed on the official state Primary Election ballot of a political party shall not be entitled to the nomination of that party for any office unless the person received at least 35 write-in votes." RSA 659 has to do with State Partisan Elections not Laconia's City Non-Partisan Elections.

A State Primary Election has thousands of voters versus a Ward Primary Election which could have 50 voters or less.

At the Aug. 11, 2014, public hearing on the proposed charter amendments, Thomas Tardif and myself asked about the New Hampshire constitutionality of the proposed amendment having to do with the 35 write-in requirement before someone could have their name placed on the ballot. Questioning whether someone who received 34 write-votes in the primary and won the Primary Election, would that person's name be placed on the city's ballot. Or, if someone won the Laconia City Election, Mayor, City Councilor, School Board, Police Commissioner or Ward Clerk, ect. with 34 write-in votes, would that person be declared the winner? Mayor Ed Engler quickly answered "no."

The Constitution of New Hampshire Article 11 Elections and Elective Franchises."Every inhabitant of the state, having the proper qualifications, has equal rights to be elected into office." Chapter 44 Cities and Wards Local Elections Section 44:14 Procedure. "In all elections of City and Ward Officers the person having the highest number of votes for any office shall be elected." This Charter Amendment is in conflict with the NH Constitution and RSA Chapter 44.

Chapter 49-B:1 Home Rule-Municipal Charters, "Accordingly, this chapter shall be strictly interpreted to allow towns and cities to adopt, amend, or revise a municipal charter relative to their form of government so long as the resulting Charter is neither in conflict with nor inconsistent with the general laws or the Constitution this State." This is based on the N.H. Constitution Article 39 Changes in Towns and City Charters, Referendums Required.

"The legislature may by general law authorize cities and towns to adopt or amend their charters or forms of government in any way which is not in conflict with General Law." This Charter Amendment is in Conflict with the N.H. Constitution and the General Laws of the State of New Hampshire.

The City of Laconia's Charter does not provide for an alternative method for becoming a candidate which is required. CHAPTER 49-C Local Option — City Charters Elections Section 49-C:6 Preparation of Ballots, "The Charter Shall specify a filing period, the filing fee to be paid for each office, and, as an alternative method of becoming a candidate on the ballot, the number of qualified voters which may be subscribed to nominating petition in such form as the charter may set out."

In The Laconia Daily Sun 8/13/2014, "City Clerk Mary Reynolds, who initiated the process to restructure the primary election, said that the proposed Charter Amendment has been reviewed not only by the city attorney but also by the New Hampshire Secretary of State and the Attorney General, who suggested 35 votes as the minimum. Moreover, she said that Manchester, Nashua and Concord all require write-in candidates to poll a minimum of 35 votes." I've reviewed the City Charters of those three cities and cannot find any 35 vote minimum or any minimum write-in requirement in their City Charters.

Why would the Mayor and City Council want to limit access to the ballot? Which will only lower voter turnout?

David Gammon

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Meredith retreat raffle tickets will be on sale Sunday from 8 to 2

To The Daily Sun,

For anyone who has not bought a $5 raffle ticket making you eligible to win two free nights at one of the four fabulous Inns at Mill Falls in Meredith, tickets will be on sale in Rotary Park this Sunday from 8 a.m. until the drawing is held at approximately 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

The raffle is being held in coordination with the 4th annual Roger's Ride celebrating the life of past Kiwanian Roger Ballantyne. All monies raised go to the Kiwanian Charity Fund which supports many Lakes Region children's charities.

Come visit us and enter this fabulous drawing.

John Walker
Laconia Kiwanis Club

  • Category: Letters
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Ture, the Muslim world has extremists, but so does ours

To The Daily Sun,

Today's editorial in the Boston Globe Newspaper portrayed the state of Islam (or the Muslim world) in defamatory remarks due the recent execution of a journalist. There is so much more to this story if we care to look at the wider more expansive picture than this one horrid incident.

No country in the world has killed more people, soldiers and civilians then the United States in the last 12 years. No country has dropped more bombs (in tonnage) than we have. No country has broken recognized international and domestic laws as this country in criminal pursuit of (so-called) terrorists as this country has: Stating now the Iraq invasion and death of a half million people was a mistake?

Still, many overlook these tragedies in remarkable fashion — remembering only what they want, seeing a greater threat than ever; when there has never been a threat to begin with, only lies.

Islam has a long history, so much older than ours. Under the leadership of Mohamed warring tribes were united. They were in many respects more advanced in science, mathematics and the arts than European countries. They taxed the wealthy and cared for the poor, disabled and homeless. They fairly taxed the wealthy to benefit the less fortunate. Many were nomad merchants ruling a harsh desert empire They prospered and their domain spread through out the known world. For untold centuries they lived peacefully side-by-side with the other great religions.

True, they have extremists elements, but so do we. We have hundreds of war-mongers, agents for the weapons industry driving this country into spending trillions of dollars in endless violence and bloodshed. Wars that deprive needy people the resources they should expect from the wealth that is available right here.

Here is a directive to the commander-in chief Barak Obama: We must make peace with the Islamic nations. If the world is to prosper we must have strong, lasting agreements to settle our differences on the peace table, not on the battlefields. Rid both countries of extreme elements politically without guns or bombs.

Leon R. Albushies


  • Category: Letters
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Mainstream Muslims remain silent about this outrageous behavior

To The Daily Sun,

The beheading of U.S. Journalist James Foley should be the final wake-up call needed by mainstream Muslims to "clean their house." There are slightly more than 7 billion people on this planet of which some 23 percent — or 1.6 billion — are Muslim. I should think main stream Muslims would be outraged with the actions of their extremist faction. Yet I see no letters to the editor, news reports, or any other indication that the mainstream Muslims care at all. Indeed they are particularly silent.

There are about 2.3 billion Christians in the world, and I am confident that were there a small extremist faction beheading, raping, killing, and perpetrating all kinds of atrocities all in the name of "God," that Christians everywhere would be denouncing them loudly, disassociating themselves from these people vehemently, crying out for their extermination, and perhaps even taking the steps needed to eradicate this cancer. Again, I repeat, mainstream Muslims are silent... Qui Tacit Consentire — Silence Implies Consent (or perhaps approval?).

Edmund Burke, Anglo-Irish statesman (1729-1797) stated: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Paul R. Lituri


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George Hurt is clearly my choice to represent us in N.H. House

To The Daily Sun,

I ask that you join me in support of George Hurt, candidate for New Hampshire House of Representatives, District 2.

For the past several years, I have been registered as an undeclared voter in the town of Gilford. Why? Because I am more interested in the qualifications and positions of individual candidates as opposed to political party platforms.

On Sept. 9 a primary will be held to select the Republican candidates who will be on the ballot for the November elections. I will exercise my option to vote in the Republican Primary to support George Hurt because I believe that his previous experience while serving in the New Hampshire Legislature from 1995-1998 and being a member of several state boards and commissions will be advantageous. His strong commitment to fiscal accountability, and his ability and willingness to compromise is what is needed during these challenging economic times for our state.

Recognizing that strong, decisive, experienced leadership is critical to seek a balance in the months and years ahead, George Hurt is clearly my candidate of choice to create an even better New Hampshire. I encourage you to cast your vote for George Hurt in the Republican Primary. I am convinced that he is a highly qualified candidate to again serve in the New Hampshire House representing Gilford and Meredith in District 2.

Michael E. Tocci



  • Category: Letters
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